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Faculty Teaching Chairs

The Faculty Teaching Chair program was established to provide leadership in cultivating teaching excellence at Ryerson. Each Faculty selected one Faculty Teaching Chair through a process that considered the applicants’ interest and skill in teaching and learning. The Faculty Teaching Chairs participated in a Leadership Institute sponsored by the Learning and Teaching Office (LTO), serve on an advisory committee for the LTO, and chair a Faculty Teaching Committee composed of representatives from each of the Schools and Departments in their Faculty.

This exciting new program will foster Faculty-specific peer collaboration and develop resources to enhance the student and faculty teaching and learning experience.


  • Chairs a Faculty Teaching Committee comprised of school/department representatives
  • Provides Leadership in cultivating teaching skills for faculty members and TA/GAs
  • Promotes excellence in teaching
  • Develops an action plan and annual outcome report for the Dean and Director, LTO
  • Participates in the Leadership Institute led by LTO
  • Forms part of the advisory committee to the LTO
  • May be a member of the Senate Learning and Teaching Committee
  • Provides leadership and development on Teaching Dossiers to faculty and DAC
  • Collaborates with the designated Faculty Professional Librarian



  • Tenured, mid career (RFA)
  • History of interest and skill in teaching and learning
  • Knowledge of excellence in teaching within the department (possible award winner and may have successfully led teaching related initiatives)



  • Helps provide core programs with the LTO (NFO, UTDP, ISW)
  • Cultivates an evidence informed approach and promotes the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL)
  • Evaluates grant proposals related to teaching & learning initiatives
  • Advises faculty members on classroom teaching issues, classroom management, best teaching /learning practices etc.


Contact the Teaching Chairs

Stephen Want, Arts - Psychology
Ext. 7156,

Wendy Freeman, FCAD - Professional Communication
Ext. 3299,

Samantha Wehbi, FCS - Social Work
Ext. 6221,

Medhat Shehata, FEAS - Civil Engineering
Ext. 6457,


Alan Kaplan, TRSM - Finance
Ext. 2429,

Don Kinder, Library
Ext. 6899,

Nenita Ponce de León Elphick, Chang School
Ext. 6667,


Meet the Teaching Chairs

Stephen Want, Faculty of Arts - Psychology

Stephen Want

Dr. Want is an associate professor in the Department of Psychology who joined Ryerson in 2005. Prior to joining Ryerson, Dr. Want taught at the University of British Columbia, and the University of Sheffield in the UK. Since joining Ryerson, he has taught more than 2,600 students across seven different courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels. He has twice served on the Arts Learning and Teaching Committee, and in 2013, was awarded the faculty’s Excellence in Teaching First-Year Classes Award.

Wendy Freeman, Faculty of Communication and Design - Professional Communication

Wendy Freeman

Wendy Freeman is an Associate Professor in the School of Professional Communication, Faculty of Communication and Design. Wendy is the Teaching Chair for the Faculty of Communication and Design and the Director of eLearning, Office of eLearning, Ryerson University. Her current research examines issues related to technology-enhanced learning and teaching in higher education. Specifically, she investigates aspects of community and culture as they affect and are affected by new technologies. Recent research projects have explored how university faculty understand and shape the use of technologies as they integrate new technology into their teaching.

She served as the Graduate Program Director for the Master of Professional Communication from 2012-2016. She teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in the School of Professional Communication and supervises graduate students in the Master of Professional Communication and the Masters in Digital Media. Prior to joining ProCom, Wendy worked as an instructional designer at Ryerson University, at the Centre for Mental Health and Addiction (previously the Addiction Research Foundation) and at a technology start up.

Wendy received a Ph.D. from the University of Toronto in 2008, where her thesis research investigated the use of blogs for postsecondary distance students. She has an M.Sc. from Syracuse University in Instructional Design, Development and Evaluation (1992) and a BFA in Theatre from York University (1985).

Samantha Wehbi, Faculty of Community Services - Social Work

Samantha Wehbi holds an MSW and PhD in Social Work and an MFA in Documentary Media.  Her social work practice and research have focused on international and grassroots organizing on queer issues, violence against women and disability issues with attention to colonialism and North-South power dynamics. Samantha brings her social work and artistic backgrounds to bear on her contributions to the research and scholarship of teaching and learning with a focus on experiential, interdisciplinary and arts-informed practices. Her teaching-related service has included: involvement on various Faculty of Community Service initiatives; holding the position of Associate Director of Undergraduate Program and Teaching from 2009-2012 at the School of Social Work. In 2013-2014, she was the academic lead on a University-wide curriculum re-design project spearheaded by the Dean of the Faculty of Community Services. This initiative sought to enhance student experience and the management of elective courses across programs.  Samantha has taught at all levels of social work education and was the recipient of the Sue Williams Excellence in Teaching Award in 2007.  

Medhat Shehata, Faculty of Engineering and Architectural Science - Civil Engineering

Medhat Shehata

Medhat Shehata is a professor in the Department of Civil Engineering and the Faculty of Engineering and Architectural Science (FEAS) Teaching Chair. Medhat started his career at Ryerson in 2002. He received the FEAS Teaching Excellence Award in his first year (2002-2003) and the Teaching Excellence Award of the Group to Renew and Enhance Effective Teaching (GREET) in his second year (2003-2004). During his 12 years at Ryerson, Medhat has taken an active role in various activities that aim at enhancing students’ engagement and the learning environment at Ryerson. Medhat supervises a research team of graduate students and research associates carrying out projects in the area of concrete durability and sustainability.

Medhat has served in a number of academic and administrative committees at the university, national and international levels. At the university level, Medhat is currently serving in the Academic Standards Committee and had served in Ryerson’s Research Ethics Board for two terms (four years). At the national level, Medhat chaired the Engineering Mechanics and Materials Division of the Canadian Society for Civil Engineering for two terms (2009-2013), and has been serving as a member of Canadian Standards Association. At the International Level, Medhat is a member of the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) and has served as a reviewer for major European grant applications.

Alan Kaplan, Ted Rogers School of Management - Finance

Alan Kaplan

Alan Kaplan is Associate Professor of Finance in the School of Accounting and Finance and the Ted Rogers School of Management Teaching Chair.  Alan started his career at Ryerson in 1998 and in the intervening years has served in various capacities with the university.  In addition to teaching a variety of courses, he has acted as a faculty advisor to various student groups, served as a Chair for both the Finance, and Law and Business Management departments, and generally served on a number of Departmental, Faculty wide and University wide committees. Alan is also involved in various community groups outside of Ryerson.  Perhaps his favorite is Adopt-a-dog Save-a-life, a pet rescue organization.

Don KinderDon Kinder - Library

Don Kinder is the Library Teaching Chair at Ryerson and the Head of Library Learning Services. He is also the liaison librarian for the Nursing, Midwifery, and Health Services Management programs. Don holds a Master's degree in library science from the University of Western Ontario. He is involved in many learning and teaching initiatives at Ryerson and has worked closely with the Learning and Teaching Office on numerous projects and is an Instructional Skills Workshop (ISW) facilitator. Don has also been a member of the Senate Learning and Teaching Committee for a number of years and is particularly interested in collaborating with faculty in embedding information literacy into the curriculum. He has a long-standing interest in student success and has been instrumental in the development and delivery of library research components into a number of student success courses at Ryerson. Don has been actively involved with the Ontario Library Association for over a decade and has served as president of the Ontario College and University Library Association. He was the recipient of the Ontario Library Association (OCULA) Academic Librarian of the Year Award in 2005 and the Ontario Council of University Faculty Association (OCUFA) Academic Librarianship Award in 2012.

Nenita Ponce de León Elphick, Chang School

Nenita Elphick

As the Program Director for the Faculty of Arts, Nenita oversees the courses and programs in the humanities and social sciences that are delivered in classroom, online, and hybrid modes through The Chang School of Continuing Education. She oversees approximately 22,000 student enrolments per year, 200 Contract Lecturers, 18 Academic Coordinators, and 17 certificate programs.

Prior to her arrival at Ryerson in 2012, Nenita studied art history, history, and German at Trinity College at the University of Toronto. She later spent fifteen years at Harvard University, where she earned an M.A. and Ph.D. in the history of art and architecture with a focus on pre-Hispanic and colonial art and archaeology in the Andes. She’s designed and taught interdisciplinary courses on Latin American, North American, and early modern European history, literature, and visual culture, and has won multiple teaching awards. She has also worked in academic advising, student affairs, residential life, and study abroad. Nenita's research interests are diverse and wide-ranging—everything from Inca mummies to art theft to current trends in North American higher education.